Governor McMaster issues “work or home” order beginning 5 pm Tuesday

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 In an effort to stop the rate of non-compliance on previous executive orders, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster took another step by tightening guidelines for what citizens can do, issuing what he calls  a “work or home” order beginning Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Those who disobey the order can face a misdemeanor criminal charge with up to 30 days in jail and/or $100 fine for each day of violation, the governor said.

Read the Governor’s Stay At Home or Order

Addressing questions of why he hadn’t already taken more aggressive stay at home actions, McMaster said, “As we have said before, when the science, data, facts, and experts determine it’s time to take action, it would be taken. It’s time. Taking this measure now will hopefully slow the future rise in infections and the virus’ toll on our state’s economy,” he said.
McMaster said that he has already ordered people to stay at home multiple times.
“This is a stay-at-home order. You call it what you like, but it says,‘stay at home’.”

He said there is no need for a “shelter in place order” at this time. McMaster said he isn’t ruling it out, but he doesn’t want to order it. “That’s a drastic action and we hope that won’t be necessary.”
Under the new executive order law enforcement officers can prohibit or disperse any gathering of 3 or more if the group could pose a threat to someone’s health. This does not apply to law-abiding businesses or employers or to people in their homes.
Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist, said the state is now in the “accelerated” phase of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“This disease is here, it’s in our communities, and we all have a part to play in helping to stop the spread of it,” she said.
Bell said everyone in the state, whether the virus is identified in their community or not, needs to heed public health warnings and practice good hygiene.
According to Gov. McMaster, about half of all state employees are working from home already and he hopes that number moves to 70% at home as the week goes on.
The governor said officers can use the order as they see fit if it threatens public health.
This does not affect people in law-abiding businesses, McMaster said. It also doesn’t affect families who may be on outings.
“This weekend, we saw large crowds gathered on beaches, on sandbars, and in parking lots,” McMaster said. “We are facing a dangerous and deadly enemy and this type of behavior is both irresponsible and selfish. Law enforcement asked for clarification as to how this existing law applies during this state of emergency.”
“I have included it in an executive order to make it clear that law enforcement has the ability to disperse groups of people who pose a risk to the public’s safety and to the safety of others,” McMaster said.
“It does not apply to private businesses nor to responsible South Carolinians continuing to make the best out of this situation. And as I said, this is not a shelter-in-place order but another measure aimed at containing the virus by controlling crowds, so that we do not have to shelter in place.”
No additional regulations concerning businesses were issued Monday.